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DEPART-ment is calling it quits.

I totally understand -- it's hard to keep up that level of dedication and volunteer work year after year -- but I'm bummed. DEPART-ment operated with a fantastic idea: instead of having individual vendor booths, each show was set up like a department store. Jewelry from a dozen different makers at one table, all manner of knitted goods at another, racks of clothing in one corner and stacks of stationery across the room. Neato. Clean. Comparison shopping made easy. And I think I bought something at every event -- the December shows were especially great for doing all the holiday shopping I never actually had time to do while running around DIY Trunk Show every year.

In its place will be the new Coterie Chicago, which will still wave the handmade freak flag but in a more traditional, booth-based format. And hooray for that! The ladies who will be running the show now are all top-notch makers and craftivists and all-around groovy dames. I'm sad to see DEPART-ment go, but I'm excited to see what comes next.

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